By Staff Reporter
HARARE – Old Mutual Zimbabwe has commissioned a US$ 2.5 million solar plant at its Mutual Gardens head offices in Mount Pleasant, Harare which will generate 641 kilowatts.
The Group has initiate solar energy projects around the country that will generate a combined 25MW upon completion and also contribute electricity into the national grid.
Samuel Matsekete, the group chief executive said the occasion marks the company’s migration to cleaner, renewable, affordable and reliable sources of power for its property portfolio.
“As a business with a vast property portfolio, the migration to a cleaner, renewable and cheaper source of power for our properties was too strong a conviction to ignore. The Mutual Gardens Solar Plant is the first of many that we envisage for our property portfolio,” said Matsekete.
The project, which kick started in March 2020, experienced serious delays due to the logistical hurdles and supply chain disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The development comes at a time the country is experiencing serious power shortages due to limited energy production which has affected economic activity.
To cover for the energy deficit, Zimbabwe has lost the much needed foreign currency through importing electricity from neighboring countries such as South Africa and Mozambique.
Speaking at the event, Minister of Energy and Power Development, Soda Zhemu commended the group’s efforts in providing alternative smart energy to ease demand on the national grid.
“I am aware that Old Mutual is already a key player in the renewable energy space through investments in projects like the 1.6 MW Kupinga Hydro Energy plant in Eastern Highlands, the 5MW Solgas Energy Power Plant in Hwange and the 5MW Richaw Solar Park in Gwanda among others,”
“Your participation together with participation of your industry collegues will surely propel national power generation capacity to the desired levels thereby cutting down on power import bill,” said Zhemu.
Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a rapid rise in renewable energy investments in line with the global shift from traditional energy sources such as coal which are not environmentally friendly.